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Old 14th September 2010   #1
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Compaq XP computer runs slow; locks up


My brother has a Compaq desktop running XP Home, 512meg of Ram.

The last month his computer has not only been running apps very slow, but browsing the Internet via Internet Explorer 8 or Firefox, either browser frequently locks up and even the entire computer locks up to where even Ctrl-Alt-Delete even freezes. Leaving him the only alternative of pushing and holding the power button till the computer shuts down completely.

I tried hitting F8 at boot-up to choose "Last Known Good Configuration " which did not improve matters at all.

Tried CCleaner, getting rid of huge number of TMP files, but no improvement there either.

Nothing I've tried made any improvement.

We are now looking at running the Restore/Reinstall disk. This Compaq disk is totally strange to me. It has the usual revert computer to factory original configuration, of course. But no option to revert/repair registry alone without doing global reformate.

There is an option to backup all files currently on computer, which upon inspection of the that part of the recover disk is a large GoBack file of all things.

But doing this all-files backup routine will, the Disk says, create a 3rd partition on his computer.

I should note that there are on my brother's Compaq already 2 partitions—the C:\ and D:\. The D:\ I assume holds the restore files as most computers these days have. There is however, also, a second (beyond the Recover Disk) a second separate Disk labeled XP Opertating System which looks to contain just that...the Windows XP operating system. This is an old enough Compaq by the way, from the days when companies did still supply an actual OS Disk.

Problem is, Compaq's instructions (I should say the lack thereof) on how to use these things are totally inadequate.

I realize this is a long, and probably confusing post, so to get to the point I have 2 main questions:

1) Anyone have any suggestions for repair apps/tips to deal with the mystery of why both IE-8 and Firefox keep browsing so slow and locking up themselves and whole computer?

2) If my brother chooses to go the route of revert computer to original out-of-box state (seems most likely to me) when starting up the routine for back to out-of-box I get the notice that user doing so must have FACTORY REGISTRATION INFORMATION available. I've never seen it expressed in these terms that I recall, but assume this means Windows installation Key. What I'd like is some knowledgeable reader to confirm that Compaq's term FACTORY REGISTRATION INFORMATION is same as the installtion Key that the Windows installation routine will demand. Probably silly question to you all, but Compaq's system looks totally weird to me.

My brother can't find that, but I'm sure I can extract it using my Magical Jellybean KEYfinder. Unless someone here has a better way of locating the installation Key. My recollection it is hidden somewhere in the hard drive, but I don't remember the path. If anyone can give me the path, I'd be interested in that info too.

Any other tips or suggestions also would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time and attention.

Timothy

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Old 14th September 2010   #2
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There should be a Certificate of Authenticity(COA) on the side of the computer. With the OS and Product Key. There is a registration number that came with the computer paperwork. When you insert the disk it will ask for that registration during the first part of the installation process. Hope this helps.


Last edited by lj50; 15th September 2010 at 00:05.
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Old 15th September 2010   #3
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Your system details would be a great help so that some research on this computer can be done. Compaq is now HP so looking up your machine on their site may provide some information.

The full factory restore sounds like your best and quickest option to get this machine back in full working order, just be sure to get the Win XP registration key and back up any important files.

You have to use software to extract the Win XP key as it is encrypted. In previous version of windows it could be found manually.

If you are concerned about going ahead with the restore then supply us with all the computers details, including the model number. Has your brother had this machine from new? What discs do you have, just a Compaq restore disc or have you also got an original Win XP disc?

It is possible that your system has been infected with a virus or malware. It may be possible to remove this with the help available in the virus and malware forum of this site but there is no guarantee that this will rectify the issues you have with the machine.


Last edited by markmadras; 15th September 2010 at 07:42.
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Old 15th September 2010   #4
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Compaq XP computer runs slow; locks up


To lj50 re: your comment:

There should be a Certificate of Authenticity(COA) on the side of the computer. With the OS and Product Key. There is a registration number that came with the computer paperwork. When you insert the disk it will ask for that registration during the first part of the installation process. Hope this helps.

The registration number you refer to — this would be what I understand as "Registration KEY" which I should be able to retrieve with a key search applet like "Magical Jellybean KEYfinder"...? Reason I ask to be sure is that my brother cannot find any original paperwork with such a number.

Also full Computer configuration details follow later.

Also to MarkMadras: my brother had a couple viruses earlier but he removed them, although what residual registry corruption junk might remain is anyone's guess.

Thanks much for your prompt replies. I have always found Windows BBS to be the best help site around.

Timothy

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Old 15th September 2010   #5
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Timothy, it was more than likely that the viruses caused the slow down so a full restore would be advisable.

You may like to take a look at the Virus and Malware forum, open a new thread and get some help to make quite sure the computer is clean before you do your restore.

The Key finder you mention should do the job to get your registration key. If it fails for some reason there are several other key finders freely available, ask here and I am sure somebody will recommend one.

Let us know how you get on.

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Old 16th September 2010   #6
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Thats the product key. I just worked on a Compaq there is another number called the registration number. But first please try Markmadras' advice go to the Malware and Virus Removal Forum. They are the best on the internet and maybe you won't have go the reinstall route.

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Old 16th September 2010   #7
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Originally Posted by lj50 View Post
I just worked on a Compaq there is another number called the registration number.
Can you provide more information about this, can the number be found somewhere on the computer. Is this number needed for unlocking something or is it provided by Compaq just to register the computer with them (now HP).



Timothy,
Can you provide the computer name and model then I can do some more research on it. Also tell me what discs you have, just restore discs and/or a genuine Windows XP disc.


Last edited by markmadras; 16th September 2010 at 06:39.
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Old 16th September 2010   #8
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I have now posted your problem on another site. Can I have the model name and number of the machine and any details, build no, etc, from the restore discs.

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Old 16th September 2010   #9
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http://forums.techguy.org/earlier-ve...n-problem.html

Have a good read through the thread in this link, it is the first thing I have found that even gets close to explaining about the 'Factory Registration'. The final post gives links to purchase a quick restore disk which (unless I have misunderstood) will by pass the registration issue. As you will see, apparently Compaq were sued over this oddity.

As explained it could simply be becaused the restore files saved on the hard drive have become corrupted, the new disc will by pass these files.

If all else fails it should be possible to clean your hard drive of all the compaq stuff and start from scratch with a clean install of Win XP, have you got discs for all your software. And I am still waiting to hear if you actually have a Windows XP disc.

Sadly it looks like the links for the disk are not working but atleast you now know what you are looking for.


Last edited by markmadras; 16th September 2010 at 14:01.
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Old 16th September 2010   #10
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This link will take you to the HP customer care site where you should find everything you need. Enter the computers details and your question ( Factory restore).


http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/s...us&product=top


Last edited by markmadras; 16th September 2010 at 18:27.
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Old 17th September 2010   #11
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How old is this Compaq. Is it a Presario. I had two presarios both bought in 2001. Whenever I did a Factory install from the disk on either machine I didn't need any reg number or product key. Did you try checking in the BIOS. Restart then keep tapping on the F2 key. It should take you to the BIOS.


Last edited by lj50; 17th September 2010 at 03:21.
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Old 17th September 2010   #12
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To lj50:

When you wrote "That's the product key," were you referring to my earlier statement about retrieving such via Magical JelleyBean key finder, as markmadras confirms? Or something else?

Also, when you further remark: "I just worked on a Compaq there is another number called the registration number." I do not understand what you mean by "registration number."

If you would clarify both my questions this would be most helpful.

[Sorry to be so much trouble, been a long time since I've had to fool with such a computer situation. Plus Compaq machines are totally unfamiliar to me...]

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Old 17th September 2010   #13
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I Called my daughter in law she has 1 of the compaqs from 2001. I asked her to check the computer case she found another number on the side but couldn't read it because it was mostly worn off. What model compaq is it. Magical Jellybean locates the Product Key. This was a different number Called registration number. I entered it but could not use it. Because his problem was HDD failure. Had to install a new HDD. Have you tried using the Operating System recovery disk you might not need the numbers.

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Old 17th September 2010   #14
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What is happening here Timothy

I have given you all the information that you should need to resolve your problem in post 9 & 10.

Why are you still worrying about numbers

You don't have the machines registration number. If you have a look at the information in the links I have given you you will see that you don't need it. Even if you did have this number I believe that you would not be able to use it as your back up files have probably been corrupted. So, forget about that number.

Use the key finder to get the Windows XP number. That is the important one. And go to the 'virus and malware' forum to get help to clean the PC of infections. You may just find that after a clean out the computer might return to full functionality but that's only a maybe.

If there is anything you do not understand in posts 9 & 10 then please ask. I cannot be of much help to you if you don't follow the advice I am giving.

And yet again I am asking you for the name and model number of the machine and to confirm what discs you have. Is there any reason why you cannot tell me this

Please try to follow my advice and answer my questions or there is little more I can do to help you


If the machine was made between 2000 and 2010 try this, press and hold down the ctrl & alt keys and press the letter S key (while keeping the other two held down). This should bring a box up on screen that will have all the details of the computer.

So, Timothy, lets see if we can now make some progress


Last edited by markmadras; 17th September 2010 at 11:36.
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Old 17th September 2010   #15
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If you check my post #6. I asked him to please follow your advice from post #5 and also advised him you may not need to reinstall.

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